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2020 Post-Enumeration Survey (PES) Results for the 50 states and District of Columbia to be released May 19. Learn more.

Father’s Day: June 20, 2021

Release Number CB21-SFS.89

According to the Library of Congress, “In June of every year, we honor fathers. The first Mother's Day was celebrated in 1914, but a holiday honoring fathers did not become official until 1966, when President Lyndon Johnson declared that the third Sunday in June would be Father's Day. President Richard Nixon made this proclamation permanent in 1972. But this doesn't mean that the holiday was not celebrated before this time.

“The idea for Father's Day is attributed to Sonora Dodd, who was raised by her father after her mother's death during childbirth. While listening to a sermon at church on Mother's Day, she thought about all her father had done for her and her siblings and decided fathers should have a day, too. Because Dodd's father was born in June, she encouraged churches in her area, Spokane, Wash., to honor fathers that month. The first Father's Day was celebrated in Spokane in 1910.

“Over the years, the idea spread, and people lobbied Congress to establish the holiday. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson, who had signed a proclamation establishing Mother's Day, approved the idea, but never signed a proclamation for it. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge made it a national event to ‘establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations.’ ”

Key Stats



More Stats

How Many Fathers?

Source: Current Population Survey (CPS), March and Annual Social and Economic Supplements, 2020 and earlier.

Thinking of You, Dad

Source: Monthly Retail Trade and Food Services (1992-2021).

  • 444110, Home centers
  • 444130, Hardware stores
  • 448110, Men’s clothing stores
  • 451110, Sporting goods stores

Stay-at-Home Dads

Source: Current Population Survey (CPS), 2019 Annual Social and Economic Supplement.

Child-Support Payments

Source: Current Population Survey (CPS) Child Support Supplements, April 1994 to 2018.

This report includes these stats about fathers:

  • Custodial parents have become more likely to be fathers over the past 24 years, increasing from 16.0 percent in 1994 to 20.1 percent in 2018. (HISTORICAL STATISTICS, page 2)
  • In 2017, custodial fathers received $2.5 billion of the $4.3 billion that was supposed to be received (58.4%). (Appendix Table 3)
  • In 2017, 43.1% of custodial fathers received full child support that was supposed to be received. (Appendix Table 3)

From the Newsroom > Stats for Stories (SFS):

From Statistics in Schools: Classrooms Powered by Census Data 

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